Things to do in New York City During the Holidays

I caught the Christmas bug a little earlier than normal this year. I think it was the lack of overnight shifts and finally being able to celebrate the holidays with my family that really got me excited to start celebrating.

Back in November, my sister and I took our mom to Radio City to see the Rockettes Christmas show. We spent the afternoon strolling Fifth Ave, checking out the holiday windows that were already on display. We were there the weekend that the Christmas tree got to New York from Pennsylvania this year and there were a ton of workers stringing lights and hanging ornaments getting ready for the big reveal.

There is absolutely nothing like New York City during the holidays and it has always given me all sorts of feels. I put together some of my favorite things to do in the city to get in the holiday spirit.

Skate in the middle of the city
There are amazing pop up skating rinks all around the city, and while the Rink at Rockefeller Center is in place all year, the best time to skate under the Rock is in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the most famous Christmas Tree in the world is looking down upon you. If you don’t want to skate in a not so packed, but still very packed and popular area, you can twirl on the ice at the Winter Village at Bryant Park, two rinks in Central Park and a few others scattered outside of midtown.

Visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
This is one of my favorite traditions. Even when I was in living in Los Angeles, I always made it a point to visit the Gove or Americana at Christmas to see the huge trees and all of the decorations. Even just driving by the beautiful decorations at the Citadel outlets along the 5 Freeway could put anyone in the holiday spirit. But nothing compares to Rockefeller Center. There’s something about this beautiful piece of nature being completely surrounded by cement and skyscrapers. It’s a little piece of Christmas in the city.

Winter Village at Bryant Park
I may have talked about how much I want to visit European Christmas Markets one day. It’s pretty high up on my bucket list. And while we may not have as magical markets here in the US, Bryant Park’s Winter Wonderland is pretty high up there. You can shop artisan goods and food, eat at one of the restaurants over looking the park or skate on the rink.

Stroll 5th Ave and window shop
One of my earliest memories of going into New York City is walking down 5th Ave. and being in awe of how intricate the windows were. (Ironic I was a merchant for 8 years.) Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman are some of the most famous, but not all on 5th Ave. and you may have to venture out a block or two but they are defiantly worth it. When I went to the city in mid-November the famous Saks windows weren’t revealed yet – yes there’s a whole big to do around the windows being revealed – but last week when I went into the city I was able to visit Lord and Taylor’s windows and they were all the heart eyes!

Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
Every Thanksgiving I watch the Rockettes in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade but this was the first year that I was able to see these amazing ladies perform their most popular show of the year. It was beautiful. I didn’t realize how intricate the entire show was, with a few surprised guests at the end.

This year seeing the Rockettes was a new Christmas tradition but Friday I am going to be talking about my favorite holiday traditions.


Must See NYC Tourist Spots

Must See NYC Tourist Spots
In honor of my mini trip back to Connecticut to visit family for my step brother’s wedding I thought I’d put together some of my favorite Tourist Spots in NYC. The City is a 90 minute train ride from my town in CT and I am actually sad to say I wish I took more advantage of being so close to the most amazing city in the world while I lived here. That being said, I did spend a lot of time in New York. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to walk anywhere or hop on a Subway and ride across the island of Manhattan in less time it would take you to drive two blocks.

Train from Connecticut to NYC

Train from Connecticut to NYC

Grand Central Terminal
One of the most amazing and famous buildings in the City, but for me, it is always my first stop into New York. No matter where I am headed into New York, my train always drops me off at Grand Central. The City for me revolves around it’s gateway to New England. When visiting, make sure you look up and take in the gorgeous art on the ceiling and don’t forget to stop into the market for some NYC grub.
Times Square/Broadway Theater District
The Toys R Us store, MTV, ABC Studios and M&M World, there is nothing that compares to the busiest, most exciting intersection in the world! And if you wander a block in any direction you can see some of the best theater acting in the country. I like to stop at the TKTS booth around 6 or 7 at night when tickets to Broadway plays are 50—70% off. Chris and I got to see his favorite play last time we were in town, Phantom of the Opera.


Rockefeller Center
Nothing compares to turning off of 5th Ave during Christmas, Banana Republic is on one side of you and Michael Kors on the other, (I know I have a shopping problem) and seeing that massive tree and beautifully decorated area. There is something so romantic about the big tree overlooking the ice skating rink. I love it. And for a crazy amount of money you can skate in front of it.

9/11 Memorial
The National 9/11 Memorial sits right in the location of the former twin towers. A peaceful two blocks cut out in lower Manhattan to pay the respects to the thousands of people who lost their lives that day. An amazing place to visit.

911 memorial

Photo Credits: Chris Dyer